George Alan Kelly
Arizona rancher George Alan Kelly pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and aggravated assault charges during Monday’s arraignment hearing.
Kelly, 74, was arrested for killing Gabriel Cuen-Butimea, on his Arizona ranch in Kino Springs just outside of Nogales, Mexico on January 30.
According to reports, Gabriel Cuen-Butimea has a history of illegally crossing into the United States and multiple deportations.
According to the defense lawyers, Mr. Kelly fired warning shots after he saw a group of men dressed in camouflaged clothing point an AK-47 right at him.
George Alan Kelly was careful to shoot above their heads, the lawyers said.
The rancher later discovered the deceased illegal alien, who is likely a cartel smuggler, when he went to go check on his horse.
Kelly was initially charged with first-degree murder, but a judge recently downgraded his charge to second-degree murder during an evidentiary hearing in court.
The trial is set for September 6.
The Arizona rancher charged with the murder of a Mexican man on his property appeared in court Monday.
74-year-old George Alan Kelly made his arraignment in Santa Cruz Superior Court.
He pleaded not guilty to charges of second-degree murder and aggravated assault.
Judge Thomas Fink set a trial date of Sept. 6.
Kelly’s attorney Brenna Larkin asked the judge for at least a 60-day continuance due to the extensive investigation the defense will have to do with its own experts.
Kelly previously posted a $1 million bond after money was raised through Christian crowdsourcing site, GiveSendGo.